GREAT MELTON A (224-9, 10 points) lost to CROMER A (281-10, 24 pts) by 57 runs at Cromer in Division 5 of the Norfolk Cricket Alliance on Saturday 14th July.
Great Melton A tasted defeat for the first time in 2 months at the hands of champions-elect Cromer A on another blisteringly hot summer Saturday. Straw-coloured grass & outfields like glass are becoming the norm this season & Melton knew they could be in for a hard time in the field once they had been invited to bowl first. However, for a while it seemed like it could be their day. New ball pair Kyle Mason & Josh Wright made early inroads, finding pace, bounce & movement from a game pitch to cause the batsmen problems.
Mason (3-34) did the bulk of the damage & when the pacy Bridges & wily Sims joined the wickets party, the hosts were reeling at 72-6. One reason why Cromer are unbeaten this season is surely their strength-in-depth, as they launched an impressive fightback when lesser teams would have wilted. Skipper Liam Davies spearheaded the counter attack, making 52 to add to the hundred he scored at Melton Park back in early May. Tom Jackson (61) & the burly left-hander Darren Payne (62) also make hard-hitting 50s as the away team toiled in the heat. The bowlers stuck to their task well but were largely powerless to resist the onslaught and were rather let down at times by the standard of some of the fielding. By the close, Cromer had lifted themselves to an imposing 281-10
With a slightly depleted batting lineup, much of Melton’s hopes rested on the shoulders of the in-form Loines, so his early departure for 4 was a blow. Speaking of blows, fellow opener Lee Whiddett suffered a nasty blow to the thumb from the lively Daniel Byrne & Nick Aston, returning from paternity leave, played all round a straight one for 10, leaving Melton’s hope of an unlikely victory in tatters. Not to be completely outdone though, it was the turn of our middle order to mount a fightback, firstly by Gristwood (24) & Henderson (29) followed by youngsters Josh Wright (33) & the impressive Bridges (65).
It was a spirited effort that while never threatened victory, did at least mean Melton came away with a full haul of bonus points, which keeps them just about in touch with 2nd place Denver, who travel to Melton Park this weekend.
Full scorecard here.